AS you may have guessed I’m generally a fan of the EU, but it’s an institution which is hard to love sometimes.
Take the European Parliament. I think it’s wonderful that representatives of 27 countries can meet and discuss their problems in a peaceful, democratic way.
But this laudable institution does itself no favours with its ludicrous set-up. Euro-MPs spend three weeks in Brussels before packing up their stuff and driving 270 miles to Strasbourg for the final week of the month.
Having a parliament in two locations is an absurd, almost criminal waste of money. It’s like Kirklees Council relocating all its staff to Exeter 12 times a year.
Diana Wallis, one of Yorkshire’s six representatives in Brussels, wants to do something about this.
She can’t stop the parliament from moving every month – that would require a treaty change – but she can reduce the economic and environmental cost of what she terms the “travelling circus”.
This week the Lib Dem sent out a press release announcing her newest campaign: Stand up your trunk, don’t take it to Strasbourg.
Ms Wallis wrote: “All MEPs’ offices have a trunk (used to transport papers and other materials) which is collected on Friday, driven to Strasbourg and then returned to Brussels once the session is over.
“Currently eight vans travel to Strasbourg each month and each van carries 375 trunks. If MEPs however leave their trunks standing up it will not be taken by the movers on the trip to Strasbourg; a fact that is not widely known.”
The Yorkshire Euro-MP is to be commended for trying to reduce the impact of the monthly trip to Strasbourg. She’s trying to introduce a little bit of sanity to the asylum.
But I can’t help thinking she should have done her trunk-based campaigning in private.
By sending out a press release, complete with picture, all this ardently pro-EU politician has done is draw attention to one of the absurdities of the union.